War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0544 OPERATIONS IN TEX., N. MEX., AND ARIZ. Chapter XXI.

Search Civil War Official Records

tioned behind a long adobe wall that ran nearly across the canon or had taken position behind a large ledge of rocks in the rear. Private W. D. Kirk, of Captain Phillips' company, had taken charge of one of the guns, and Sergeant Patrick, of the artillery, another, and brought them to the ground.

While trying by the fire of these two guns to ascertain the locality of the enemy, Major Shropshire was sent to the right, with orders to move up among the pines until he should find the enemy, when he was to attack them on that flank. Major Ragnet, with similar orders, was dispatched to the left. I informed these gallant officers that as soon as the sound of their guns was heard I would charge in front with the remainder of the command. Sending Major Pyron to the assistance of Major Ragnet, and leaving instruction for the center to charge as the fire opened on the right, I passed in that direction to learn the cause of delay in making the assault. I found that the gallant Major Shropshire had been killed. I took command of the right and immediately attacked the enemy who were at the ranch. Majors Ragnet and Pyron opened a galling fire upon their left from the rock on the mountain side, and the center charging down the road, the foe were driven from the ranch to the ledge of rocks before alluded to, where they made their final and most desperate stand. At this point three batteries of eight guns opened a furious fire of grape, canister, and shell upon our advancing troops.

Our brave soldiers, heedless fo the storm, pressed on, determined if possible to take their battery. A heavy body of infantry, twice our number, interposed to save their guns. Here the conflict was terrible. Our men and officers, alike inspired with the unalterable determination to overcome every obstacle to the attainment of their object, dashed among them. The right and center had united on the left. The intrepid Ragnet and the cool, calm, courageous Pyron had pushed forward among the rocks until the muzzles of the guns of the opposing forces passed each other. Inch by inch was the ground disputed, until the artillery of the enemy had time to escape with a number of their wagons. The infantry also broke ranks and fled from the field. So precipitate was their flight that they cut loose their teams and set fire to two of their wagons. The pursuit was kept up until forced to halt from the extreme exhaustion of the men, who had been engaged for six hours in the hardest contested fight it had ever been my lot to witness. The enemy is now known to have numbered 1,400 men, Pike's Peak miners and regulars, the flower of the U. S. Army.

During the action a part of the enemy succeeded in reaching our rear, surprising the wagon guard, and burning our wagons, taking at the same time some 16 prisoners. About this time a party of prisoners, whom I had sent to the rear, reached there, and informed them how the fight was going in front; whereupon they beat a hasty retreat, not, however, until the perpetration of two acts which the most barbarous savage of the plains would blush to own. One was the shooting and dangerously wounding of the Rev. L. H. Jones, chaplain of the Fourth Regiment, with a white flag in his hand; the other an order that the prisoners they had taken be shot in case they were attacked on their retreat. These instances go to prove that they have lost all sense of humanity in the insane hatred they bear to the citizens of the Confederacy, who have the manliness to arm in defense of their country's independence.

We remained upon the battle-field during the day of the 29th to bury our dead and provide for the comfort of the wounded, and then